This morning I would like to return to 1 John 3:16-18. Yesterday we saw in this text that we are to love one another with action and not mere words. Please read that text again as we get started in The Word for the Day.
John uses a practical example here to teach us that love is action. Notice in verse 17 he asks a question: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”. The principle here is that we are to love one another in practical ways.
Let’s return to the question in verse 17. If we have a brother in our church in NEED and we have the means to meet tat need and we don’t do so, it’s hard to say that we have experienced God’s love though faith in Christ and we cannot really say that we love one another. We certainly can’t say we are loving one another as Christ loved us. James makes a similar point in his discussion that faith in Christ produces good works. Read James 2:15-16. James is basically saying that if a brother has a real NEED and we simply respond with words and no action than we aren’t demonstrating the fruits of a changed life in Christ. The early church practiced meeting the needs of the brethren in practical ways ( see Acts 4:32-35). SO WHAT does this mean for us? We need to be intentional and proactive in loving one another in practical ways. Visit the sick, make a meal for someone not well, host a brother or sister in your home whom you need to know better, pray for one another, take someone into town or to the store with you.
Perhaps today you could prayerfully sit down and write out ways in which you can demonstrate love to the brethren in practical ways. Perhaps you could apply the things on that list to people outside your normal circle of friends within the body of our church. Let’s love one another as Jesus loved us!